Uíge, one of the eighteen Provinces of Angola, is located in the northwestern part of the country. Its capital city is of the same name. Municipalities within the province include Alto Cauale, Ambuila, Bembe, Buengas, Bungo, Damba, Macocola, Milunga, Mucaba, Negage, Puri, Quimbele, Quitexe, Sanza Pombo, Songo, Uíge, and Zombo.
Beginning in October 2004 and continuing into 2005, Uige Province was the centre of an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a disease closely related to Ebola. According to the United Nations, it was, at the time, the world's worst epidemic of any kind of hemorrhagic fever.
During the Middle Ages, the Uige Province was the heartland of the Kongo Kingdom. The Bakongo North and South of the Kongo river were all part of this Kingdom, a centralized monarchy which for given periods of time also dominated part of the Ambundu further to the South. The kings lived in the city of Mbanza-Kongo which had a population of about 50,000 in the 16th century. Knowledge of metallurgy among the Bakongo was renowned; their king was even called the “Blacksmith King”. Their reign was first strengthened by the arrival Portuguese priests who lived at the king's court and taught religion as well as literacy; the interaction with the Portuguese stronghold of Luanda was rather marginal for a long time. Things changed when the Portuguese started to conquer and occupy the hinterland in the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Kongo kingdom still existed on paper and the court in Mbanza Kongo was maintained, but had lost any effective power.
In the early part of 20th century the province was on a decline due to its inhospitable terrain and poor accessibility. The situation changed entirely when the Portuguese discovered that soil and climate were favourable to coffee production. The Uíge province (then called "district") became Angola’s major centre for coffee production in the 1950s. While part of the production came from European (mostly Portuguese) owned plantations, most producers were Bakongo smallholders; in both cased, they relied on forced or "contract" labour from the Ovimbundu. Its market centre of Uige town, the district capital, prospered and was designated a city in 1956. To encourage the principle of national integration with Portugal, many towns in Angola were renamed during Portuguese colonial rule, including the provincial capital of Uíge town, which was renamed Vila Marechal Carmona ("Marshal Carmona Town") after Marshal Óscar Carmona, the former President of Portugal, later simplified as Carmona.
In the 1950s, the Bakongo people were among the forerunners in the independence movement. For part of them, the purpose was to restore their kingdom, but their majority came out in favour of Angola as a whole. They formed first a regional movement, União das Populações do Norte de Angola (union of the people of Northern Angola), then baptized União das Populações de Angola (union of Angolan peoples), and finally the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola; FNLA), which became one of the three Angolan anti-colonial guerrilla movements fighting the Portuguese forces, during the 1960s.
During the Portuguese rule, the province, and in particular its capital Uige, became the haven of rebel activity (its inaccessible wilderness providing the cover for such activity) of the rebels received active support from the leader of its neighbouring country of Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko. Rebels of the União Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) had even occupied the province for short spells during renewed civil war in 1990s. It was only in 2002 there was peace in the region.
Beginning in October 2004 and continuing into 2005, Uige Province was the centre of an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a disease closely related to Ebola. It was caused by Marburg virus which is an African RNA virus that causes green monkey disease. Now thought to be under control, there were 374 cases with 88% deaths. According to the United Nations, it was, at the time, the world's worst epidemic of any kind of hemorrhagic fever.